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Meissen

Meissen is a small town in Germany on the Elbe river in Saxony which is famous for the production of porcelain. It dates back to the early 18th century when the alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger discovered the formula for producing hard-paste porcelain which was previously unknown to Europeans.

The Meissen factory is generally regarded to be the first producer of true hard paste porcelain in Europe. It was established in 1710 in the town of Meissen in Saxony under the auspices of the state’s ruler, the Elector Augustus the Strong.

Some of the designs have been in continuous use since the 18th century and many of the ornamental wares and figures were originally inspired by the oriental prototypes they sought to emulate. However, over the years, European subjects and decoration became increasingly important.


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Meissen squirrels spotted in West Sussex

12 March 2014

Auctioneers Bellmans will include a pair of Meissen squirrels, modelled by J.J.Kändler and dated to c.1750 in their forthcoming sale.

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18th century Meissen revived via 21st century technology

28 January 2014

The cutting-edge technology of 3D printing is being used to restore a spectacular Meissen table fountain that is to go on public display for the first time in 150 years when the V&A’s new ‘Europe 1600-1800’ galleries open in late 2014.

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New high for 19th century Meissen in New York

18 October 2013

This spectacular pair of 19th century Meissen covered urns sailed past their top estimate of $15,000 to bring $175,000 (£114,400) at the sale held by Cottone Auctions in Geneseo, New York earlier this month.

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Meissen collection uncovered in Derbyshire

18 October 2012

A house visit in north Derbyshire unearthed a treasure trove, with every room cluttered with porcelain figures.

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Reunited after 200 years

20 September 2010

THANKS to a clever bit of detective work by one of its curators, the Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle has been able to reunite a porcelain cup and saucer that have separated for over 200 years.

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Rotherham’s stormy lovers sell for £26,000

01 September 2009

THIS rare Meissen figure group modelled by J.J. Kandler, titled The Stormy Lovers sold for £26,000 at Paul Beighton's latest sale.

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£110,000 rediscovered royal gift

25 January 2005

Star billing at Christie’s King Street sale of selected English and Continental ceramics on December 6 went to three Meissen Augustus Rex covered baluster jars of 1740 with the AR monogram and Dreher’s marks XII to the base.

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V&A review after second Ceramic Galleries theft

22 December 2004

The Victoria and Albert Museum have updated security following a second theft from their Ceramic Galleries in as many months. While the new systems were installed, the galleries were closed for a week.

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Teapot is cream of crop

18 August 2004

WITH the King Street sale devoted entirely to Continental material, it was left to Christie’s South Kensington rooms to offer a home-grown element with the morning half of their sizeable 393-lot, June 24 British and Continental ceramics offering.

£12,000 – the cost of failing in due diligence

27 April 2004

THE importance of exercising due diligence has been driven home in the most painful way for a dealer, whose oversight has cost them £12,000.

Bidding on later Meissen bodes wellfor Kent collection

06 April 2004

A 100-LOT collection of Meissen, Derby and Cont-inental porcelain figures, together with some furniture and works of art from a local Thanet private vendor, formed the backbone of Canterbury Auction Galleries (15% buyer's premium) February 24 outing which attracted a large number of private buyers, many of whom secured the top ceramic lots.

Stinton to rescue at the double after ‘Sèvres’ let-down

16 March 2004

WHAT would otherwise have been a sound enough sale at Andrew Grant Auctioneers (15% buyer's premium), Worcester, on February 19 provided two trade talking points – one positive, the other negative – after the differing fortunes of three lots among the ceramics.

A year full of promise on the books front

18 February 2004

2004 is shaping up well for arts publishing, and publishers of books which cover the genre also reported excellent sales last year, particularly in the run-up to Christmas. Here, the Antiques Trade Gazette takes a look at some of the books on offer this year, many of which will be reviewed.

Overseas buyers make curate’s egg taste better…

20 February 2003

IF THERE is one objet d’art that best characterises the antiques market at present it is the curate’s egg – good in parts, but bad overall. The flawed ovum’s brighter regions encompass most low-value collectables – ceramics included.

Floods threaten new museum

27 August 2002

GERMANY: The world’s largest collection of Meissen porcelain has had to be rescued from serious flooding – only a week after plans were announced for the re-opening of the museum that houses it.

A peach at £78,000

17 July 2002

The oriental inspiration of this 51/2in (13cm) high Meissen teapot of c.1728 extends not only to its finely painted figural decoration by J G Horoldt but also to its peach-shaped form. At £78,000 it made the highest price in a single-owner collection of Meissen porcelain held at Christie’s on July 8.

Longleat figures show off another valuable side to estate’s wildlife

26 June 2002

This quartet of Meissen white figures from Augustus the Strong’s Japanese Palace was a centrepiece of the June 13 evening sale from Longleat, contributing £2.9m to the overall total.

Imperial gifts – from Meissen to Wedgwood

29 January 2002

The 102 lots of European ceramics that rounded off Christie’s (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) December 13 furnishing sale at King Street had, despite a degree of softness to the Meissen market, a generally high take-up for that factory, with 18 of the 25 lots of tablewares and figures changing hands and some strong individual results.

Meissen silver gilt mounted tankard

02 October 2001

This early Meissen silver gilt mounted tankard painted in the manner of Horoldt was spotted sitting on top of a radiator by auctioneer Mark Law during a routine valuation.

A Meissen derived Kakiemon tankard

04 June 2001

UK: A striking amalgam of European form and Oriental decoration, this Meissen derived Kakiemon tankard was a rare hybrid, apparently one of only four in public record, and it consequently attracted worldwide interest at Woolley and Wallis’s sale in Salisbury on May 23.